kick drum issues

Discussion in 'Drums' started by kmatt, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. kmatt

    kmatt Guest

    I am having a hard time getting a good punchy, yet bassy tone out of my kick drum. when i do double bass rolls i want to be able to hear it and feel it which leads me to my next issue

    the kick seems to be getting lost in the mix. not sure if these issues coincide one another but i would really appreciate and info you can provide me to fixing this
  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Here's what I do:

    To bring out the click in the kick create a very narrow band pass filter and sweep it until you hear the snap. Normally this is about 1kHz but it is very dependent on the drum.

    Next to get the whoom sound without it just being a steady low frequency hum. Use a compressor with a side chain and LP the side chain down to just above the fundamental frequency of the kick. Start with a low threshold about 6dB below the sustained level of the kick, very high ratio and fast attack. Bring the attack up until you hear the boom, but not so much that you loose definition between kicks.

    This will probably result in a kick that clips the master bus just at the snap of the drum. Use your favorite saturation plugin so it doesn't clip the master bus. I like GClip.

    Finally, and most importantly, don't boost the lows. Bring down the low end on everything else that is stepping on the fundamentally frequency of the kick. (Even the bass guitar)

  3. kmatt

    kmatt Guest

    thank you for the advice, i will try all of that.

    yea we have a few drum and bass parts and i noticed im having a hard time getting that separation between them
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Tune the drum.


    By this I mean, get it to sound exactly what you want it to sound like for the style of music thats being played.

    If you are doing a lot of fast kicks, doubling, extended passages with the doubles, then you want the kick very dry and the tone very short. There can be no physical overtones that lap into the next segment of the beat in eighths.

    It has to be that short for speed. This is before you put a mic on it.

    After that, use Geckos method.

    A sub-kick works well with getting depth. Also a dual micing technique with a close mic on the beater contact point inside the drum and a dynamic or even a condenser with a hyper-cardioid pattern for just at the hole or if no front head just inside the drum.

    If you're doing really heavy speed-metal or def-metal or whatever-metal, you might consider triggering and replacing the kick sound. In this case you only need a very even and very definate signal. Again, short in length, but a strong signal to send to a drum module/program. If you can get a decent kick sound with an even signal, you can also replace it and blend in the natural sound with the program sound for hugeness.
  5. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    +1 :D

    I recommend stuffing that drum full of blankets until you get a short, juicy sound. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use a felt beater. Wooden beaters are great, and plastic ones will work fine, too. And tune the heads really low: just enough to get the wrinkles out. And subs are good. Of course, it sort of helps to have a mic that picks those up well. Low pass. Compression. And last but not least: learn how to play correctly! Drum techs will say that at least 50% of the drum tone comes from the way the drummer plays, not: the drum itself, the heads, the beater, the mics, the compressor, the preamp, or anything else!
  6. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I don't know about stuffing crap inside drums. I used to do that, then I learned how to tune a drum and now the resonance of the shell is audible, the sound is bigger, there is more attack, all around it's better.

    Stuffing a drum full of crap just masks the problems you can fix. Fix the problems don't just muffle them.
  7. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I agree that just stuffing a kick drum until it sounds "good" is not the best solution in EVERY case. But, if someone wants fat AND stacatto, there really isn't any other way to do it. Btw, I think most metal bass drums sound like crap. If someone really wants to hear a good example of fat and stacatto, listen to anything NOFX has done since like '99.
  8. bigmac

    bigmac Guest

    What I do is that I remove the back end of the kick drum and direct my kick drum microphone towards the middle of the front skin. and then to get the bass sound by typically cover up the back end again with some blankets but if you need even more click to your recording I recommend using an SM57 microphone on the front end right where your pedal meets the skin of kick drum.

    Then I always add an auxiliary track to my session and name it "kick drum boom" or something like and I use a signal generator set to around 50.

    Of course this is just my way but there are many other and you will definitely get your preferred sound at the end. :)
  9. Greener

    Greener Guest

    You could super glue a coin to the skin and use a solid wooden beater. That makes for some really full on attack.

    Definitely remove the resonant head from the drum and mic from inside the drum.
  10. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I don't know if I agree about this removing the resonant head advice. And I hate, hate, hate clicky, slappy bass drums. Just make sure you aren't using a felt beater, keep the heads tuned as low as you can without wrinkles, stuff it full of enough stuff to make the decay very short, the put a mic designed to pick up lower frequencies through the port hole. Wala: great kick sound. And compressors help a lot, too. That's gotten better results than any other setup I've seen.
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Paper roll over the beater head, gives great slap too
  12. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    There's also the possibility that the other instuments aren't EQ'd properly and are muddying things up. Try to not boost the bass guitar at the same frequencies the kick is boosted at. Also, make sure you have some form of high passing on the guitars, whether done with EQ or compression. The kick sh ould be getting most of the subs, but make sure that it isn't just subs, or you will never hear the kick.
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